‘Grim Irony’: Saudi Strikes Uses British Intel to Destroy UK Aid Facilities in Yemen

A vital cholera treatment center in Abs, in the Hajjah province, was hit in June in airstrikes
which are supported by British intelligence, reported by the Independent.

British-backed Saudi bombing destroyed Oxfam facilities in Yemen, said the United
Kingdom charity. The information about the destruction of facilities of the humanitarian
organization emerged during last week’s parliamentary debates in the House of Commons
where U.K. ministres were evaluating the impact of the country’s arms sale to Riyadh.

A vital cholera treatment center in Abs, in the Hajjah province, was hit in June in airstrikes
which are supported by British intelligence, according to British news outlet Independent.

The location of the treatment facility was notified 12 times. In April, coalition air raids
damaged an Oxfam supported water supply system that provided water for 6,000 people.

“On the one hand, British aid is a vital lifeline, on the other, British bombs are helping to fuel
an ongoing war that is leading to countless lives being lost each week to fighting, disease,
and hunger,” said Oxfam’s head of advocacy, Toni Pearce.

“The UK continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, whose coalition bombing campaign in
Yemen has cut off vital food supplies, destroyed hospitals, and homes, and hit aid
programmes funded by British taxpayers.”

The U.K. has sold an estimate of US$5 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since its proxy
war in Yemen to oust the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in 2015.

The U.K. government has recently come under pressure to halt arms sale to Riyadh,
especially after the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the kingdom.
Germany and Switzerland already took the step.

U.K. government previously said that its intelligence support and training of the Saudi led-
forces aims to help reduce civilian casualties but the latest report by Yemen Data Project
showed that 48 percent of all known airstrikes had hit unarmed civilians and non-military
targets.

The Saudi-led war in Yemen is witnessing worst famine as civilian casualties increase each
passing day.

Britain’s Labour party had strongly called for a halt on arms sale. Emily Thornberry, the
shadow secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs, from Labour party, wrote an
article on Oct. 13 for The Guardian criticizing the government’s inaction against the Saudi
kingdom despite concrete evidence of its crimes domestically and abroad.

“And yet this government apparently urges us to forget all of that because Bin Salman has
committed himself to allowing women in Saudi Arabia to have the right to drive their own
cars. And, more importantly, as far as it is concerned, he will give us a good trade deal after
Brexit so we can continue exporting the arms he is using to prosecute his brutal war against
the people of Yemen,” she said adding that a Labour government will not show same
compromise while dealing with Saudi Arabia.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, who sits on the International
Development Committee and the Committee on Arms Export Controls, said bombing their
own aid was a “grim irony”.

This week Doctors Without Borders said their health facilities have been hit five times by the
Saudi-led coalition since the war erupted in 2015, killing 21 patients and staff, and injuring 33
others.

The U.N. secretary-general Antonio Guterres appealed to end the war in Yemen Friday. On
Wednesday the United States secretary Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. is urging Saudi
Arabia to accept a ceasefire in Yemen and allow the country to rebuild itself.
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